MVD - Advocating for Minimal Viable Design


I have been a designer for over 10 years, from the manic deconstructed David Carson days, to the reverential Pentagram days to today’s Dribbble-y Facebook design superstars. I’ve loved looking and aspirating to it all; I even wax nostalgic about those early print days when we had to spend hours printing out version after version of stationary to make sure the kerning was just perfect.

So I definitely know there’s a place for “pixel-perfect”…but I argue that product development is NOT that place.

Just as entrepreneurs and product managers have coined the term “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP) to denote what are the absolutely barest features and functionality to release a product to the public, I tout that we, designers, need to add “MVD” to our toolkit - the notion of “Minimal Viable Design”.

What is MVD? I submit that the traits are:
• speed over perfection
• familiarity over innovation
• legibility over beauty

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